Monday, August 11, 2014

The Heart of My Country


At Sunday service this Sunday, we sang the song: The Heart of My Country.  The words were by Hillie Edwards, an early Unification member.  The tune is an old English hymn.  Here are the words:

The Heart of my country beckons to me to fill its emptiness.
My Father long has spoken to me, His desire this land to bless.
He sends me on to life unknown, to work in a far off place.
He loves that land before I come, and through me He'll give it grace.

The truth is sought by ev'ryone in many a diff'rent way.
In darkness children seek the path that will hasten in the day.
Through struggles of the cent'ries long they have never ceased to fight
Our Father's will has kept them strong, and through Him they'll live in light

Now brothers, sisters all join hands to encircle all the earth.
The time has come for all mankind to know the world's rebirth.
Whatever we do, wherever we go, we are all in one embrace.
When we roll the clouds of dark away, we will see His shining face.

This song was very appropriate for the successful completion of the God’s Hope for America Tour.  We used to sing it a lot in the 1970’s during seminars and Sunday services.  It is even more suitable today, where some of us feel that we have lost the heart of our country.

This is the only nation in the world where people can worship freely, express their opinions and follow their dreams, disregarding their gender, religion, skin color, or social status.  Coming from another country (I am now a U.S. citizen) I cannot understand people who come over here and trying to implement the same laws and social status they have had in their country of origin.  If they liked that so much, they should have stayed over there.  This country is great because of its tradition of giving freedom and the pursuit of happiness to all its citizens.  It is our right based on the constitution.  For those who think that they have to change the constitution, they should go back to their home country or maybe check out North Korea.

I have also wondered why modern-day pastors and churches are so silent regarding political issues and why leaders are keeping their flock deliberately in the dark.
When I learned about a research done by the Barna Group that discovered that it has been decades since even a sizeable minority of pastors have bothered to educate and inform their congregations as to the Biblical principles relating to America’s political, cultural, and societal lives, I was truly amazed.  Why are religious leaders more interested in “being successful” as a congregation than serving their God?

Barna cites five reasons:
*Attendance
*Giving (money)
*Number of programs
*Number of staff
*Square footage (of facilities)

Barna believes that America’s malaise is directly due to the deliberate disobedience of America’s pastors--and the willingness of the Christians in the pews to tolerate the disobedience of their pastor. WOW.

For that I truly appreciated the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s teachings who always shared with us history and modern day situations from the providential point of view.  That’s why his teaching of God’s Hope for America and America is God’s Hope is still relevant for today.

If we take this country and its historical mission for granted and squander the blessings which God has bestowed upon this country, there is no other place to go to.  Let us rally together to bring God back into our churches, our schools, our government and above all into the hearts of all legal American residents.

Monday, August 4, 2014

What I Learned from my Granddaughter; Now that she is Two


I baby sit my granddaughter Jaya two days a week, but we live in the same household all the time.  Therefore, I have had some time to watch her and am quite impressed with her human skills.

Her favorite question right now is: why?  That’s very normal for a two year old.  She is very curious about many things.  As you notice her question is not: how but why.  That’s what impresses me because she has her own ways and means to get what she wants.  She has a very demanding way of saying: come, grandma, come. Or she puts up that mischievous smile which nobody can resist.

“A child is an exquisite attention-getting device, designed to sound an alarm at the first indication that he will be forgotten or relegated to a position where he does not count.  She needs the care and attention of strong, competent people to make it through, and nature obliges by endowing him with enough fear and aggression to stimulate to hold on fiercely to sources of viability.  His education in the ways of relationship sets him the primary task of understanding hierarchy, assessing where the power is, and learning what he must do to be accepted.  A child’s ability to control his position and the attention of others is critical, much more important than control is for the average adult on an average day.”
~ The Art of Possibility - Benjamin and Rosamund Zanders, Rule Number 6

Smirk or not, she likes to make friends with other kids when we go to the playground or to other public places.

Her favorite game right now is: hide and go seek.  She still has the notion that when she covers her eyes that I will not see her.  Because of that our hiding places are endless: in the garden, in the house, or in public places.

Her language skills are increasing daily.  She is like a parrot or a tape recorder, repeating many of the sentences we say.  Obviously, she does not get all the pronunciations right but it is cute to hear big people words in her high pitch voice.

She has an unlimited imagination and plays by herself with her doll, her puzzles, her little kitchen stove and other small objects like rocks and sticks by lining them up in a row or sort them by colors.

When she gets hurt or has something wrong with her foot or her things, she comes right away to express her dismay.  When we were trying to go out one day, and I discovered that we didn’t have her car seat, she was grunting and raving for the longest time: the car seat is lost, oh, no.

Jaya is a really hard worker.  She always wants to help. The other day I was moving some dirt in the garden with a spate.  Before I knew it, she brought her little play shovel from the sandbox and was carrying dirt with me.

Above all she is a great sheer leader and brings a lot of joy and laughter to our household.

I hope you have a two-year old around your house or close by for you to experience all the fun you can have with little kids.

Monday, July 28, 2014

God's Hope for America #II

America cannot win this battle alone. She needs God. In this test you cannot win without God who is the foundation of all truth, and all true ideology. A confrontation is inevitable between the two worlds -- the God-affirming world and the God-denying world. This is a confrontation of ideology. Therefore, as a champion of God, America must win ideologically over atheistic communism on the worldwide scale, with the unity of all races and nationalities. Our faith in God must be stronger than their faith in communism. America must win in the name of God. Thus God would establish the "Foundation of the New World Ideology" in a higher dimension.

The American forefathers fled from religious persecution in Europe, came to the new world, and in the spirit of building "One Nation Under God" they brought about a new nation here in America which is now at the threshold of her third century. In a similar way today, people are fleeing from the communist world of slavery to the free world. Many were persecuted for their religious beliefs and ideological differences. The time has come to unite them to build a new world centered upon God. United, the free world must liberate the enslaved communist world. This time our task is to build "One World Under God."

To do this, Christianity of the world must unite. The church must liberate herself from sectarianism. She must undergo a drastic reform, and achieve an ecumenical and an inter-religious unity. For this, we need a spiritual revolution. We need a new ideology, and this new ideology must incorporate Oriental philosophy, uniting the cultures of the East and the West.
 
“If there is an illness in your home, do you not need a doctor from outside? If your home catches on fire, do you not need fire fighters from outside? God has sent me to America in the role of a doctor, in the role of a fire fighter. That is why I have come to America. Good medicine may taste bitter, and an operation may involve some pain, but the treatment must begin at once. Should a patient complain and push away the doctor's hand when he touches the infected part?”
~ Sun Myung Moon


This new ideology will also be capable of unifying all the existing religions and ideologies of the world. Therefore, it has come in the form of a new religious or spiritual movement. The Unification Church movement has been created by God to fulfill that mission. This spiritual movement must first succeed here in America in order to spread throughout the world. The new ideology which the Unification Church brings is Godism, an absolutely God-centered ideology. It has the power to awaken America, and it has the power to raise the model of the ideal nation of God upon this land.

With that done, the rest of the world will follow America's example and will build the Kingdom of God upon their respective lands. Then we shall all truly become brothers and sisters under one Father, God. This will be a world of love, a world of happiness. Our planet will be one home, and mankind will be one family. God's will, His long-cherished desire from the beginning of time will finally be fulfilled. This will be the eternal, ideal world of God. Indeed, it will be the Kingdom of God on earth. We will build it with our hands.
 
This is our supreme mission. It is truly our God-given, sacred mission. God is crying out to the world, and we are His instruments. The world must respond to His call. Listen to God's commandment. Initiate a courageous march towards the Kingdom of God on earth. Whatever the difficulty, let it not stop us. Our march is God's, and it will go on to the end.

My beloved citizens of America, today let us pledge to God Almighty our loyalty and dedication to the fulfillment of this divine mission. Ladies and gentlemen, in the name of God, let us unite, and together build the Kingdom of God on earth!

Let us together give our united thanks to God. In the name of the people of the world, may I congratulate you on the 200th birthday of the great nation of America. May God bless you, and may God bless America and her third century.

~ Reverend Sun Myung Moon - June 1, 1976 - Yankee Stadium

 
This past week I participated in a rally in Cleveland.  The occasion was the commemoration of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s work here in America.  In 1965, Rev. Moon came to America to establish “Holy Grounds” in 55 different locations all throughout this country.  He had brought soil and rocks from his homeland Korea to connect these two countries together, for God to have a solid ground to stand on.  In Cleveland that place in near The Museum of Art.
 
The gathering was planned for 1:00 PM.  As everybody started to arrive including the bus from the God’s Hope for America tour, about a hundred people started singing.  We even had some blessing from above in form of a drizzling rain.  None-the-less, the spirit was high and we raised our voices to the Lord.  We listened to a few testimonies, as well as the above excerpt of Rev. Moon’s proclamation from 1976.



In the afternoon, we all drove to Columbus where we had a banquet at the local church.  Members and participants of the bus tour were treated to a wonderful array of American, Japanese and Chinese foods.  The singing, the music, and especially the speakers, all contributed to a meaningful evening.  We all could feel the hope God has for this country.  When people of all different backgrounds and religious affiliations gather, God can see his vision for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth being realized.

Monday, July 21, 2014

E PLURIBUS UNUM


When I received my change back at a recent lunch at Chipotle, I collected some very shiny pennies.  Looking at them more closely, I discovered some writing on it which I had never noticed before: E PLURIBUS UNUM.  Since I had never studied Latin before, I didn’t know the meaning of it and became curious.  In the meantime I learned that the phrase is included on all of our coins. 

So, what does the slogan mean?

è Out of many, one or otherwise translated as: one out of many.

 
It was for many years considered the motto of the United States from the beginning in 1776 until in 1956 when Congress voted that the new motto was to be: In God we Trust.

è The original meaning was that out of many states or colonies one single nation emerged.

è In recent years the meaning became that out of many peoples, races, religions, languages, and ancestries, one single people and nation has emerged – what we call the “Melting Pot.”

 

 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Smile – It Makes You Happy

Nobody can resist a smile; smiles are contagious, they make us feel better.  Did you know that smiling can even be good for your health?

“Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.”

There are both emotional and physical health benefits. Smiling is like a natural drug, it boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, changes our moods, and even prolongs life. 

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
~ Mother Teresa

Even if you have to fake a smile at first, practicing smiling will benefit you and give a positive signal to the brain which will give you a feeling of joy.  Continuous practice of smiling can even prolong your life.

Garrison 3 months
I just received a picture of my grandson who is now smiling so sweetly at 3 months.  Babies are actually born smiling and they will responds to you with a big grin often.  It is actually easier to smile (using less facial muscles) than to frown. 

"The powerful emotions triggered when someone important in our lives smiles at us and we smile back changes our brain chemistry.”
~ Dr. David Lewis – The Language of Success
 
Mona Lisa
Apparently, Charles Darwin had a lesser-known theory, that smiling can make us feel better.  When you feel happy you smile more, but it also works the other way around: smiling can cause us to be happy.

Have you ever wondered why the painting of the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci is so famous?  Everybody is mystified by her sweet smile.

We all know that it is easier to be around people who smile and are friendly.  Some people can light up a whole room with their positive attitude and sociable smiles.  Here are some more fascinating facts about smiling and its health benefits.

With a little bit more awareness we all can smile more and not only please others but to bring happiness to ourselves.



Monday, July 7, 2014

God's Hope for America


This is an excerpt from a talk given by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon on October 21, 1973 in Washington, D.C:

The Christian tradition in America is a most beautiful thing for foreigners to behold when they come to this country. I learned that every day your Congress is convened in prayer. Your president is sworn into office by putting his hand on the Bible. One day I visited a small prayer room in your Capitol building. When your leaders have grave decisions to make, they come to this place, kneel humbly before God and ask His help. There is a stained glass window depicting George Washington on his knees in prayer. Here I saw the true greatness of America. From the highest echelons of Congress way down to the rustic customs of the countryside, evidence of dependence on God can be seen everywhere in America.

In this respect America is a unique nation. Even your money, the bills and coins, are impressed with such a beautiful inscription, "In God We Trust." No other nation does such a thing. Then whose money is it, your money? Is it American money? No, it is God's money. Every bill or coin says so. You are the stewards, and God has deposited His wealth in your hands. Yes, this nation is not the American nation, it is God's nation. And such a nation exists for the entire world, not just for America herself. Yes, America was formed as a new nation, a new Christian nation under a new tradition. The shackles of old traditions fell away in America. You must want to build a new nation under God.

God's purpose is the salvation of the world and all mankind. Today in America, therefore, you must not think that you have such wealth because you yourselves are great. We must humbly realize that the blessing of God came to America with the purpose of making it possible for God to use this nation as His instrument in saving the world. If America betrays God, where can God go? If America rejects God, where can God go to fulfill His aim? Do you want to let him try to go to the communist world? To underdeveloped countries? God wants to have America as His base, America as His champion. And America has begun in the sacrificial spirit pursuing God's purpose. America must consummate her history in the same sacrificial spirit for God's purpose. Then America will endure forever!

Let me compare two striking examples. The people who came to America — to North America — came seeking God and freedom of worship. The sole motive of the first settlers was God. When they came for God, they not only found God, but they also found freedom and wealth. At the same time many people went to South America. Their sole motivation was to find gold. South America is a fertile land, no less than the North American continent. But when the colonists' motivation was gold, they could find neither gold, nor God, nor freedom. And the South American countries remain underdeveloped nations.

America is the miracle of modern history. You have built the most powerful nation in history in a short time. Was this miracle possible only because you worked hard? Certainly you did work hard. However, hard work is not explanation enough. If God had not been the principal partner, creating today's America would have been impossible. God played a prime role in American history, and this He wants America to know.

The time has come for the American people to be awakened. Because of the noble beginning of this country, God sent His blessing and promise. The sacrificial devotion of your ancestors was the foundation for God's blessing. If you betray your ancestors, if you betray God, there is only one way for America to go. It will go to destruction. Since America was built on the pillars of faith in God, if God is moved out of American life, your nation will be without support. Your decline will be rapid.
 
Here is the link for the rest of story: http://www.unification.net/gww/gww-14.html

We just celebrated the 4th of July.  Traditionally, that is a time of pride and joy for the American people.  Recently, there has been an atmosphere of unrest and discontentment among the general population.

There is a tour going on right now, visiting 55 sites which were declared as “Holy Ground” during a tour Rev. Moon conducted in 1965.  Its purpose is a revival of the American spirit and a prayer support to bring America back to God, that we may truly be “One Nation Under God.”
 


As Rev. Moon suggested in 1973, it is time for us to turn our hearts to God.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blessings

Blessings come in so many different ways.  Among the most cherished are children.  I am sure those dads who celebrated Father’s Day yesterday will agree with me that children are the greatest miracle of all.

Blessings are among many of God’s favors and protection.  But we humans can also give our blessings to others through prayer and benedictions.

Since God gave the original blessing to Abram (Genesis 12:1-2), the three major religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam have a common beginning.

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
~ Genesis 1:28


Giving each other blessings helps us to feel good.  Being kind and serving each other, gives positive feedback to our body.  Through that kind of mind/body unity we create a base for God to sanctify us.  In the Divine Principle (3.1) we call that the first blessing or being fruitful.

The achievement of the first blessing is very crucial because it becomes the foundation for all the second and third blessing.
 
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
~ Galatians 5:22-23

As this bible quote suggests, there are the fruits of the spirit which we are to emulate.  Once we have incorporated these values mind-body unity becomes much easier.

Through the second blessing we experience the love between man and woman.  Husband and wife create a family by having children.  Each blessing helps us to grow more and contributes to our maturity. 

As experienced adults we can fulfill the third blessing by taking care of the natural world and reap all the benefits from the creation. 

When we look upon our world today, we can certainly find problems everywhere.  Unfortunately, we are trying to find solutions in an external way.  Looking at the diagram above, we can see that the trouble lies in the first blessing.  To become fruitful means to be mature, responsible and caring to oneself, to others and to the environment.  For most of us to love ourselves is the hardest thing of all. 

There is a book out called “The Gentle Art of Blessing” which talks about the health benefits of blessings.  Blessings even have a positive effect on our DNA.  Since we are all spiritual (energy) beings, we respond well to positive vibrations.  Blessings are the ultimate benevolence.  They infuse us with holiness and remind us of our true original potential.



I am closing this blog with blessings to all who come by to read it.  Bless yourselves and others and you will never be the same.